Jul 8, 2014

NH Hospitals Review Efforts to Reduce C-section Rate

An article in the New Hamsphire Business Review extrapolates new guidelines, Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, to efforts underway in NH to reduce the rate of cesarean surgery births. Local hospitals named in the article, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Elliot Hospital are aware of and already implementing much of the guidelines which include considering:
  • Prolonged early-phase labor
  • Cervical dilation of 6 cm rather than 4 cm as the start of active labor
  • More time for labor to progress in the active phase
  • Longer pushing (for 2 to 3 hours or longer depending on situation)
  • Assist techniques for vaginal delivery, such as forceps.
The effort is being driven more from a cost-saving perspective than a patient safety one. The article cites statistics from a 2011 NH Insurance Department study that:
“the amount paid for C-sections in New Hampshire is 64 percent higher than for vaginal deliveries. The study also showed that the New Hampshire C-section rate grew from 28 percent in 2005 to 32.5 percent in 2008, and that the statewide rise is consistent with national trends."
Please see the full article on NHBR.com: New effort seeks to stem rise of C-sections in N.H.

Jul 1, 2014

NH Trial Lawyers Blast Sen. Bradley for Pandering on Med Mal Early Offer Bill

Barney Brannen writes in The Concord Monitor on behalf of the New Hampshire Association of Justice (formerly known as the NH Trial Lawyers Association) that "A New Hampshire state senator has supported the interest of powerful special interests over the rights of patients injured by medical malpractice," by pandering to lobbyists in striking down the state's "early offer" bill.
"After reaching a compromise, negotiated in the spirit of cooperation, state Sen. Jeb Bradley pulled a sinister bait-and-switch move at the behest of lobbyists from Elliot Hospital to amend New Hampshire’s “early offer bill.”
Why is Bradley playing with people’s lives?
The early offer bill’s purported intent was to speed medical malpractice litigation, and reduce stress and expense on the injured party, hospitals and providers. It has been and always will be a law that puts profits over people and is a shameful affront to the rights guaranteed all people under the New Hampshire Constitution.
The two largest medical malpractice insurance companies have already said they want nothing to do with the early offer program. RSA 519-C was passed in June 2012, over the veto and strongly worded accompanying message of Gov. John Lynch. The law was written by the late and long misguided professor Jeffery O’Connell of the University of Virginia who had, for years, proposed its content before multiple states and the United States Congress, all of whom rejected it as patently unfair to injured patients"
Read the full Op-ed here on ConcordMonitor.com.